The heritage and wealth of history that have made Southwest Florida the unique place it is today goes well beyond limited beach development and conservation. The result is a rich and vibrant past on full display in our many historic inns, galleries and museums.
Every historical trek starts in Fort Myers, walking in the footsteps of the American icons who once loved this area so dearly. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, good friends Henry Ford and Thomas Edison sought reprieve from northern winters in their grand Fort Myers estates. Today, you can spend a serene afternoon touring these well-maintained properties and their surrounding acres of intricate gardens, including many species originally planted by Edison himself.
Many centuries before Edison and Ford wintered along the Caloosahatchee River, the Calusa Indians made this land their home, utilizing the favorable climate and abundant natural resources to thrive and prosper.
One great place to learn about the intricacies of Native American life in the area is the Museum of the Islands. Or better yet, explore the remains of an actual Calusa Village during a guided tour of the Calusa Heritage Trail nearby on Pine Island. You can visit the Mound House on Fort Myers Beach to learn about the customs of the Calusa indians who lived on this unique archaeological site that sits atop a 2,000 year-old shell mound.
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